The work of salvation belongs to God. He is the one who saves. He calls and leads us into a saving love relationship with Himself. As I look back over these last two years of ministry of Abogar International Ministries, it is such a blessing to see how God has used Abogar International Ministries to share of His love, light, and salvation to children in Latin America. We have been blessed to be involved in seeing hundreds of children have the opportunity to hear the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and make a decision for a relationship with Him. While it is His work to save the children, it is such a privilege and blessing to be used by Him in the work of bringing children to Himself.
While this year has been more of a formative and foundational year of discerning how best to move forward with Abogar, it is encouraging to be reminded of the many children we have been able to see the Lord save in our two years of existence. Abogar has been able to minister to many children in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador in these past two years and see them have the opportunity to come to know Christ; as well as to help them be partnered up with existing local ministries that can help them have home, family, and education.
Last year, while I was in Guatemala, on one occasion I was given the privilege and blessing to share my testimony with a group of children who live and work in the streets. Partnering with InnerCHANGE Xela, we gathered the children in a local church and gave them some sweet treats and cola. They each came knowing that I would be sharing my testimony. At the conclusion of sharing my testimony, I extended an invitation to the children to invite Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior; emphasizing that it is a committed love relationship with God. Several of the children came forward to make a decision for this relationship that Jesus offers, and my heart was overwhelmed with gratitude to God for saving the children; calling them to Himself and leading them into an eternal love relationship.
After praying with several of the children, I made my way to the back of the room, where I found Chepe, a teen who has lived his life in the streets and known a rougher life than I could ever imagine. Chepe was crying. I sat next to him and asked if anything was wrong. He shook his head to indicate nothing was wrong. I asked if God has used my testimony to touch him and he quickly nodded his head. I then asked Chepe if he knew God as his personal Lord and Savior, and he shook his head, no. I then asked him if he would like to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and he quickly nodded in affirmation. With the help of my good friend and brother, Julio, who works for InnerCHANGE, I got to lead Chepe in a decision of commitment and surrender to God! It was awesome to see the joy overcome him, and see the stress and worry leave as Chepe made a decision to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
While developing homes and family and educational access for the children is a main thrust for Abogar International Ministries, if we are not invested in the eternal salvation of the children we have only been involved in saving the children momentarily. There is such an importance to seeing their immediate needs fulfilled… food, shelter, love, health, etc. but these things all shall fade away. We are committed to continued advocacy, networking for, and pursuing homes, family, and education for these children. Our main focus though shall remain to be seeing God’s work of saving the children eternally. Chepe is one story of many that inspires me and Abogar to fight for these children. God doesn’t need us, but chooses to use us in His ministry of saving the children. As I soon will be returning to Guatemala, I am excited to seek out Chepe and hear of how God has been working in his life. Please say a prayer for him, that God has been and is providing the right people and places for him to be; to grow and have an opportunity filled future. Pray as well that God will continue using Abogar International Ministries in His great work of saving the children!